For my final project, I am going to be converting my standard CD player to a fully transparent enclosure. My existing model is the Sony DVP-NS325 shown below.


This design is very utilitarian but also quite boring. Based on the 90’s craze of adding translucent enclosure to technology, I felt like it would compliment the CD player, especially since it was made in 2003. The reason this design became popular first started during the 1939 world fair where acrylic was introduced. This ushered in a new way to showcase product technology, to show consumers that when they pay X amount of dollars, they are getting their money worth. This especially worked for technology where this was many consumers first time using a television and they did not quite understand how well the technology works. This trend later remerged in the 90’s with huge players like Apple and Nintendo following suite.


My vision for this project, is that the user can visually see the CD going in and out of the player while also seeing the CD spin inside. This adds another depth to the device, CD’s come in cool colors and graphics and seeing them spin really quickly adds another perspective to the CD art. My plan to design this piece is to first CAD up the outside of the enclosure. I first started by disassembling the CD player to understand where things need to mount and what size it will need to be.

I mocked up where the control panel will be mounted and decided I will mount it directly to the acrylic housing. I decided to make the housing   

out of 1/8″ acrylic that is held together using acrylic glue. A rectangular cutout is used to allow clearance for the CD player tray to come in and out. And a set of cutout are added to allow the user to press all the buttons. One of my concerns was not knowing which button does what, but it turns out the PCB has printed callout for each button and in conjunction with the transparent housing will make it pretty easy to use, shown below.

My plan is that the housing will just be able to slide over the existing box to make it a seamless integration into the housing. I have some concerns regarding how cool it will look, but we will see when I get to the next step of the design process.




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Final Product, Transparent CD Player

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Michael Gray
    May 8, 2024 2:55 am

    What an awesome idea for a project. I am an absolute sucker for clear enclosures of anything mechanical!
    How long did it take you to measure out the dimensions of the enclosure? I’m sure you needed to be pretty precise, especially with all of those electronics!

  • Josh Sweeney
    May 7, 2024 11:09 pm

    Looking good so far! I am interested to see how this turns out. I never had a clear Game Boy, but I always wanted one. I’m also reminded of early 2000’s prison electronics, like the TV’s inmates had in their cells. They had to be in a clear shell to make sure they weren’t smuggling anything inside. I wonder if they ever did that with CD players too.


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